Getting The Best Sound From Your jOrgan
e idea of what is the best sound for a jOrgan means dierent things to dierent people. Here are some of
the loudest possible sound (Maximal olume)
the most authentic voicing ( ruest to the Original arget oices)
the richest audible combinations of sound (Closest to Being in a eatre or Church Setting)
the greatest number of dierent audible sounds (Maximal Polyphony)
the most imaginative use of your personal sound equipment and acoustic “space” (Maximal Engineering).
As you might imagine, it is not possible to achieve all of these “bests” in one jOrgan installation. Take one easy target as an example—polyphony.
Polyphony is an easy target because it is a surprisingly dicult sound objective to maximize on today’s high speed, large memory computers as compared with pipes-and-windchest organs from Bach’s day. Polyphony basically means how many notes you can play at one time. Well, how many might that be? Let’s count them.
Some classical organists often play two pedal notes at one time. Let’s add a three-note chord for the left hand on the Choir or Accompaniment keyboard, and a two-note interval with the right hand on the Great manual. at’s a total of seven notes, or is it?
Let’s examine your registration. Maybe you have three stops pulled (or tabs set) on the pedals, and four on the Choir and ve on the Great. Now suddenly you’re playing not seven but 28! at’s easy enough on one of Bach’s old organs, because each of the pipes is a separate machine, in eect, but it can be pretty demanding for a single-processor or even a dual processor computer, especially as you add more voices in your registration, with maybe some tremulants, and perhaps some couplers, like Great-to-Great 4 and 16, and maybe Swell-to-Pedal 8’, etc.
ere are ways to tackle the polyphony problem, which will be discussed below. Likewise there are ways to
handle each of the other “bests” in the list above, and they will be discussed also. But before we go there let’s nd out what are the sound-producing software resources available to us in jOrgan. en we will look at the computer hardware resources available, and nally some “sound stage” equipment options.
A side note: when I began writing this manual I thought that all jOrgan sound options were soundfont based—as described in this chapter—and were comprised of either Fluidsynth or Creative SoundBlaster. As it turns out there is a much greater range of sound producing options open to the jOrgan user and disposition builder than I had imagined. is spectrum of sound options is now described, for jOrgan beginners, in Appendix D.